Abandoned children find 3 families among the women of Kireka Acholi Quarter.

“The heart of man is one and it is the same in Italy, in Uganda and in every place.  When you know that you have a value, you know that also the others have a value”.

Three children were abandoned by their mother and left to their paternal grandmother who is old and also vulnerable. The social worker of MPI Teddy was informed of this situation by a neighbour of the grandmother and she was concerned about the health’ condition of the three children that are 7 years old, 2 years old and 7 months old respectively.  The grandmothers works washing the clothes of other people and she stays away from home all day so the children remained inside the house alone all day long.  As soon as Teddy became aware of this situation, she decided to go for a home visit to the grandmother’s place. She said: “As soon as I knew that there were three abandoned children I decided to go and to see how they were living, if they had food and water, the place where they were sleeping and their daily activities. From my experience I have learnt that if you want to understand better a situation you have to live that situation together with the people and to share with them their life. So I decided to spend one day with the children and the grandmther, from 7.30 am to 11 pm. When I got there I saw that the situation was not good: the children were left alone all day, they had not enough food so they had to share 3 bananas, one was given to the youngest, one to the second one, and one was divided in two partes, one for the oldest child and one for the grandmother. They could eat only a banana in a day. I saw that they had appetite, but when I tried to give them a cup of tea, they vomited all of it. They were malnourished and they spent all day inside the room, they didn’t play with others children and they weren’t happy. I tried to speak with the grandmother to understand what we could do in order to help her and the three children. She told me that she could not take care of the children. The first thing that I did it was to share the issue with the director of Meeting Point International, Rose Busingye, who took the children to the women of Meeting Point in Kireka. When we arrived at Kireka, Rose explained the situation to the women and she asked: ‘what shall we do with theese three children?’. It didn’t pass one second that one of the women said: I’m going to take one, and then just after her, another woman said: I’m going to take the little one, and then another one said: I’m going to take the other! In five minutes the three children found a second mum and a second family.”

I was surprised when she told me that, so I asked her:

“ Why did these women, that have their own children, decide to take another child and to take care of her?”.

Teddy smiles at me and she says: “We have received a great love, a love that says to us that we have a value, that we have our own dignity. We have been looked as beautiful persons. At the beginning, when I looked at myself I didn’t see nothing, I was nothing. Then I met someone who looked at me not for my errors or for my limits, but for my desire and for my value as a human being. I wanted for myself that gaze, so I have started to stay with the people that loved me. Now, I and also the other women want to do the same with everyone. The money are not a problem in front of this great love. I feel happy when I can help someone to be happier. I started to work as a social worker for this reason, I love to stay with people and to go along with them looking for their value. This is my life, and I love my life”.

She introduced me to Apolot Florence who is taking care of Mugerwa Sharon, who is 7 years old. She said: “When Rose came and asked us what we should do with the abandoned children I had no doubt. These children have a value like me and like you. When I was in need, someone took care of me and of my childen without asking me anything, we have been loved as we were. I want to love as I were loved. Sharon is now happy, the first week that she was with me and with my children she didn’t play with them and she was apathetic, but then she felt loved, she felt at home, and she completely changed. Now she is attending P1 in Luigi Giussani Primary School, she eats properly and she plays with her friends”.

Written by Marta Gulden